10 best survival backpacks

So, you’re heading out on an adventure to the great outdoors, and you think you’ve got all the survival gadgets to take on whatever Mother Nature can throw at you. But the most essential bit of kit that you can have is your survival backpack.

Staying alive in the middle of nowhere can become much harder when your camp stove is floating off down a river, or your survival knife is slowly sinking into quicksand because you thought your gym bag will stand up to the strains of a true adventure.

Essential Outdoor Survival Guide - Everything You Need To Know

A good survival backpack can be the difference between coming home having conquered nature, and not coming home at all. Or, if you’re not quite at the Bear Grylls end of adventure, a good outdoors bag can mean the difference between a good weekend away, or a slightly shit one.

By now, you’ll have read our essential outdoor survival guide. Well, we’re making survival even easier, by gathering together the 10 best survival back packs, to ensure you get the most out of your big adventure.

There's a lot to consider when you're picking a survival backpack - Photo: iStock

Of course, there are thousands of different kinds of bags on the market, but all are not created equally.

Things to look out for in a solid survival backpack are:


Most important of all, a good outdoor backpack should be comfortable for you to carry potentially for days at a time. Ensure that your survival backpack is a good fit for your, offers you protection from fatigue, especially along your spine, and is free from seams and attachments that may rub or irritate your skin while you’re on the move through the wilderness.


When you’re in the great outdoors, getting to our essential survival gear quickly can be key. A good survival backpack will not only have enough storage space for all of your essential kit, but also have enough individual pockets and spaces for everything to be organised, and easily accessible.


When you’re adventuring out in the wilds, the weather is always a massive factor to consider. If the heavens opens, or you find yourself with a river to cross, a waterproof backpack is essential. After all, it’s hard to make a fire if you’re matches are soaking wet.


However, big your survival bag is, you’ll still always find that new bit of gear that doesn’t quite fit inside without you sacrificing some other essential bits of kit. As such, when your choose your outdoors backpack, look for one that can be added to. This can be as simple as webbing, or loops on the exterior of the bag at you can attach more equipment to when needed.

Now you know what to look out for, what are the 10 best survival backpacks on the market today?


The Berghaus Vulcan is the ideal survival backpack for extended expeditions where stopping to replenish supplies may not be an option. It has an impressively large 100 litre capacity, and features a hard-wearing alloy frame to give the bag rigidity.

It’s made from reinforced Nylon which makes in incredibly tough, and abrasion resistant.

The Vulcan isn’t also three bags in one. It can either be carried at it’s full size or you can sip the side pockets off to make a smaller bag. But, you can also zip these side pockets together to make a thirst, smaller ay bag.

Price: £220.00

Get it from: berghaus.com

10 Best Survival Backpacks Arc-Teryx-Altra-65

A good survival backpack should also be comfortable. This Arc’ Teryx Altra 65 is idea for a few days straight out in the wild because it has a trade marked Load Transfer Disk. This clever piece of tech allows the bag to pivot and move with the natural motion of your body as you move through the undergrowth.

Price: £300.00

Get it from: arcteryx.com


The Self Adjust Back system on the Vango Sherpa 60+10, along with its relatively modest retail price makes it a favourite among survival backpack aficionados. So much so, in fact, that's the Sherpa is recommended by both The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and The Scout Association.

It’s large, 70 capacity makes it ideal for weekend long expeditions, and its dual Polyester fabric construction make it not only strong but also light. It comes with a detachable rain cover, along with having numerous water resistant zip compartments, and has expansion from a daisy chain to which extra gear can be attached.

Price: £85.00

Get it from: vango.co.uk


For many people, the Lowe Alpine Cerro Torre is the go-to survival backpack. It’s made from a lightweight yet durable material called TriShield which yields an excellent strength-to-weight ratio.

It also features a removable 6 litre hydration pack, ideal for keeping you thirst suitably quenched while mother nature is throwing everything it can at you.

Price: £180.00

Get it from: lowealpine.com

10 Best Survival Backpacks Berghaus Centurion 45

Not every adventure needs a massive backpack. This smaller survival backpack is ideal for quick trips where you just need the bare essentials. The Berghaus Centurio has a 45 lire capacity, and is made out of a super durable Nylon that’s going to resist abrasion when you’re bushwhacking.

It also has good expansion options, wish extra side pockets available to zip on if you need that little bit of extra space for that new bit of kit

Price: £100.00

Get it from: berghaus.com


This is a truly versatile survival backpack that’s perfectly suited to short to medium length trips into the unknown. With a 51 litre capacity, there’s plenty of room for everything you’ll need for outdoor survival for a couple of days.

The array of accessible pockets mean that you gear is always easily accessible, whatever situation you find yourself in.

Price: £100.00

Get it from: thenorthface.co.uk


This is an ideal cold weather survival backpack as it’s designed with ski conditions in mind. Along with the generous 38 litre capacity of the bag, there are also straps attached to the A-frame of the bag that enable you to strap skis, snowboards or splitboards to the outside.

Of course, if your adventures are less arctic, theses durable straps can be used as regular expansion for the backpack. The back is constructed from two different kinds of touch Nylon to deliver light-weight but touch performance.

Price: £180.00

Get it from: arcteryx.com


A Survival Rucksack that’s suited to long distance tours, the Grand Tour 55 has been designed in conjunction with leading authorities in traveling long distance on foot.

The clever VertErgo Tour back system is a framework that can be tailored to each individual wearer, meaning that carrying weighty items need not slow your trail down. However, if you’re taking it out on a shorter track, the system can be removed, saving even more overall weight.

Price: £125.00

Get it from: montane.co.uk


Weighing in at under two kilos, the Osprey Farpoint 70 is one of the lightest survival backpacks for its size on the market today. It features a detachable 15 litre day pack, so you can take it away on a long trip, but leave it behind while your venture from HQ to find nuts, twigs, or the nearest supermarket.

The Farpoint has absolutely stacks of individual pockets and compartments, making finding your essential survival gear stress free when you’re up to your neck in nature.

Price: £120.00

Get it from: ospreyeurope.com


The Northface Cobra isn’t just a gnarly name. It’s a good backpack that’s suited to all kinds of outdoor action, but was designed with alpine survival in mind. It’s packed with a lightweight metal frame that can be removed if that final push requires a little bit of last minute weight loss.

It also features a stowable helmet carry, an oversized crampon pocket, rope and ski holders , tool loops hydration pockets and numerous lash points. As a go-to survival backpack that can take just about anything you can throw at it, the Cobra is an excellent option.

Price: £165.00

Get it from: thenorthface.co.uk